Saturday, June 16, 2007

A New Design

We all have romantic notions about relaxing in our gardens. What do we do?
We sit down with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and within minutes we are critiquing the garden design, deadheading flowers or pulling weeds. I want to break that cycle & put in a patio with a fire pit and really relax in my garden.
I know about plants. I know about perennials, shrubs and veggies. I know which flowers are for cutting & which flowers hummingbirds & butterflies love. But, what do I really know about garden design? I’m not a designer.
I know what I like & don’t like. I have looked at photos & have visited a lot of gardens.
I do have basic ideas about the new area in my back yard.
1. I want a patio area with lounging-type chairs & a fire pit. I have a covered deck for sunny days but it’s kind of small & it feels cut off from the garden.
2. I want to take apart the 4 raised beds that have grown my vegetables for the past 5 years. The area has gotten more shade from the ‘Negronne’ Fig & ‘Brooks’ Prune trees to be very productive.
3. I want to remake the paths with a hard surface. The garden border needs an edge.
I want a little more definition to the area.
4. I need to re-grade the whole area to let winter rainwater drain more rapidly.
I don’t think that’s too much for an early summer project.
With all these ideas, I decided to contact a real garden designer. I had met Trish Jensen at the Silverton Garden Club where we both are members. Trish has 18 years of garden design experience. She also was raised in a garden nursery environment. Her Dad, Bob, was a grower for many years in the Silverton area.
Trish came over & listened to all of my wish list. She walked the garden, took notes and measured the area. About a week later, she came back with a sketch. Since I don’t need help with the plant selection, Trish said the drawing was pretty easy.
Her ideas are just what I had in mind but better!
She drew a wider, more centered stair leading to the new pathway from the wooden deck. She suggested the new patio area be closer to the ‘Brooks’ Prune and added a new garden bed to screen the wooden fence. She widened the herb bed next to the house to incorporate the few summer vegetables I like to plant.
Trish suggested ¼ minus gravel as a material for the garden paths and pavers or stone for the patio. Rocks that I have dug up from the garden can be used to help define the pathway border. Trish also thought about up lights for nighttime interest. The fig tree, the ‘Oshiobeni’ Japanese maple & the Vine Maple can have lights installed underneath for a final touch.
Tune in soon to hear how the project is shaping up. Here is the contact info for Trish... Trish Jensen, “The Home Gardener”, 503-873-3828.